Thursday, June 17, 2010
Somewhere to Belong - by Judith Miller
Set in the 1870’s in the Christian cooperative community of Main Amana, Iowa this is the story of two young women, Johanna Ilg and Berta Schumacher.
Johanna is a kind, compassionate, and respectful young woman who has grown up in Main Amana. Though she longs to see the outside world she knows her home is Main Amana. She is given the task of training Berta Schumacher in the ways of life in the Amana Community.
Berta is a spoiled and rebellious daughter of a physician who is forced to move to Main Amana when her parents decide a simpler life would be best for all of them.
Berta antics were good for few laughs, but nevertheless the plot was fairly predictable - with one exception near the end.
The characters were rather flat and I really had a hard time connecting with either one of them.
It is clear that the author put a considerable amount of research into this book. There is great detail in the political structure of the colonies. She clearly understood what the gender roles were and how they all worked together as a community. However, there was very little detail in regards to the theology of the people, which would seem to be more important in a Christian Community.
Overall, it was a decent book, but not great.
I must mention that I did receive a complimentary review copy of this book, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.